Advice & Guidance

Bladder and bowel control problems effect people of all ages. 2.5 million people over the age of 60 suffer from urinary incontinence and 6.5 million of all ages are affected by some form of incontinence.

It can be embarrassing to tell someone about a bladder or bowel problem. Talking about it, especially with a healthcare professional, is the first step to helping yourself. You don’t have to cope alone. A healthcare professional will be able to assess your symptoms, identify the possible cause, and advise the treatments or exercises that can help you to manage your continence problems.

Types of Incontinence

There are different levels of incontinence that effect the bladder and bowel, here we have put together a simple guide to help you recognise the type of incontinence you or your loved one may have and the products we can provide to make living with incontinence that bit easier.

Light / Stress Incontinence

This is when a small amount of urine is leaked, usually caused by a cough, sneeze, laugh or exercise.

Stress Incontinence is more common in women, due to the pelvic floor muscles and the bladder outlet being weakened by pregnancy, childbirth and the menopause. Men may develop stress incontinence following a prostate operation.

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Moderate / Overflow Incontinence

When the bladder does not empty completely, which leads to a build of urine which ends up overflowing, usually as a frequent dribbling leak. May make it difficult to start passing urine. There are a number of causes of overflow incontinence;

Obstruction, e.g. an enlarged prostate gland in men.

Constipation may make the bowel over-full and press on the bladder, reducing the amount it can hold.

MS, Stroke or Parkinson’s Disease may make the bladder less effective at emptying.

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Heavy / Reflex Incontinence

Reflex or urge incontinence is the sudden strong need to pass urine and may also mean you feel the need to pass urine more frequently. Many people find that as they get older their bladder becomes unpredictable, needing to pass urine more frequently and with less warning.

Triggers such as hearing running water or putting the key in the front door can bring on episodes of reflex / urge incontinence.

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Severe Incontinence / No Bladder or Bowel Control

Loss of bladder control means you cannot store any urine at all. It can result in constantly passing large amounts of urine, or passing urine occasionally with frequent leaking.

Total urinary incontinence can be caused by; A bladder problem from birth.

Injury to your spinal cord, which can disrupt the nerve signals between your brain and your bladder.

A bladder fistula, a small tunnel-like hole that forms between the bladder and a nearby area, such as the vagina, in women.

Faecal incontinence occurs because of a number of factors;

Diarrhoea caused by infections and upset stomach – This usually resolves when the diarrhoea has settled.

Neurological conditions such as MS or Stroke may experience faecal incontinence due to impaired nerve impulses.

Medications can cause bowel problems such as constipation, this can develop into faecal impaction if not treated effectively.

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Looking for more information?

If you would like further information about how to best manage your incontinence, simply contact us and we will try our very best to help.

Additional Information

Our aim is to provide all the information you should need to help you best manage your incontinence. Here are some quick reference guides for you. Should you require more detailed information, or would like product specific advice you are welcome to contact us with your query.

Skincare

To maintain the integrity of your skin whilst managing incontinence, follow these basic prinicples;

  • Avoid using harsh soaps, as they can cause dry skin
  • pH balanced soaps, foam cleansers and wipes with moisturising properties are recommended
  • When drying, pat gently. If your skin is intact you should not need to use any creams

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Disposal

You are advised to place used incontinence products in a small bag or nappy sack and dispose of them with the general waste for local refuse collectors. Never flush any incontinence products down the toilet. If in doubt, consult individual product packaging or ask your healthcare professional.

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